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UA ESOC 150 - Theories of Social Media

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Lecture 6 Outline of Last Lecture VIII. Workshop Day- Why am I teaching a course about Wasting Time on the Internet?Outline of Current Lecture IX. Theory vs. Rhetoric X. Baym’s Perspective on Common Theories of Technology XI. Karl Marx’s PerspectivesCurrent LectureIX. Theory vs. RhetoricTheory: A theory can be viewed as a theoretical tool for understanding a certain complex phenomenon.- There are occurrences happening all over the world, and in order for us to understand them we need to form an explanation, which is done through the useof theories.- A way to conveniently ‘mesh’ all occurrences that we struggle to understand in order to attempt to make sense and clarity of the subject. Rhetoric: Known as the art of persuasion that commonly involves figures of speech.- Language that entails to persuade or have a specific impression on the audience.X. Baym’s Perspective on Common Theories of TechnologyBaym wrote the paper Making New Media Making Sense in which she dicusses common theories and perspectives regarding technology along with her own opinions about each theory.Technological Determinism: A theory that describes social media as an force that arises independently of societal contexts and acts on individuals, or in other words, technology changes us.- It is said that these direct effects of technology are most effective when the giventechnology is new simply because people don’t know how to use them properly.o The more technology is used the more you are “used” by itThese notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor’s lecture. GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes, not as a substitute. ESOC 150 1st Edition- This change likely occurs at an individual level rather than societal, and therefore can be avoided if individuals do not use the technology.Social Constructionism: refers to the theory that focuses on how technology arises from social process since humans are the ones that created them in the first place, then we must be the agent of change.- The choices the developers make as they are in the process of creating new technology is highly dependent on their social contexts, which is shaped largely by communication.- A technology may also be made for a specific intended purpose, but other groupsmay modify the original use to satisfy current societal needs.Baym believes that both of these theories lack the perspective of the other side of the argument. For instance, Technological Determinism lacks the understanding and consideration of the effects that humans have on technology and vice versa. Baym then proposes the theory of Social Shaping, which is the middle ground between the two theories.- The consequences of technologies arise from factors of ‘affordances’ including the societal capabilities technological qualities enable and the emergent and rather unexpected uses of such affordances.XI. Karl Marx’s Perspectives- Marx proposes the idea of ‘Alienation’, which is the idea that society is living a lifethat is not the way it should be or intended to be lived. - For example, if you built something with your hands, you have ownership over it, however, alienation of this exist since now people make all kinds of products in factories and in return get a wage rather than to keep them.- Marx proposes the idea that individuals should get a sort of compensation, such as money, for what the do on the Internet and on social media since society are the ones that make social media what it is.In order to better understand alienation watch the video on Youtube called “I, Pencil: The Movie”.- The time that individuals spend not working is viewed as being “unproductive” and thus this time that is usually spent online is aimless.- The question that is prosed is why can’t the time that is not spent at work or at school be aimless, but productive? Afterall, we are still doing and creating when we are online.Marx’s theories can be further illustrated on D2L within the pages of Karl Marx @ Internet


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